After community outrage, a mayor in North Carolina said Saturday that a planned LGBT Pride “Drag Queen Story Hour” event had been canceled.
The event was canceled after Apex Mayor Jacques Gilbert, a former captain of the Apex Police Department, forwarded community feedback to the festival commission hosting the event, according to a Facebook statement.
Here’s what Gilbert said, who used to be the captain of the Apex Police Department:
“Given that this part of the event was not originally presented when the event was proposed, I met with representatives from the organizations hosting the event, the Apex Festival Commission, and presented the feedback I have received from citizens.”
“Today I was notified that the Apex Festival Commission has taken the feedback into careful consideration and has decided to remove the Drag Queen Story Hour from the event,”
“It continues to be my goal to ensure that all voices in our community are represented,” said the mayor, noting that he “received a variety of feedback regarding the Drag Queen Story Hour.”
According to town council member Audra Killingsworth, the town got numerous complaints, some of which escalated into threats of violence, an outlet reported. The organizers said, “While the event may seem to be a small part in the festivities, the Drag Queen Story Hour can have a big impact on kids.”
The mayor’s announcement drew mixed reactions, with some expressing disappointment at the cancellation and others supporting the decision.
One parent wrote, “This was THE Pride event I was planning to attend with my toddler. Very disappointed in the event organizers who were swayed by hateful, misguided comments.”
One person said the decision was “fair,” adding that “this performance (stage names, etc.) is too adult for a children’s activity,” and thanking the mayor and the committee for their choice.
On Monday, Gilbert disabled the public’s ability to comment on his Facebook post, writing, “I will not tolerate disrespectful comments attacking others and hate speech on this page.”
He also wrote:
“I will continue to love all members in our community … I have very close family members of the LGBTQIA+ community who I love dearly. We will continue to make this a community that welcomes varying opinions.”